To Prioritize Silence
Excerpt from Creating Space: Space to See. Space to Grow. Space to Be.
“If we know the characteristic sins of the age, we can guess its foolish and fashionable assumptions—that morality is simply a matter of personal taste, that all silences need to be filled up with human chatter or background music…”D.A. Carson
Notice how Carson associates sin with excessive chatter and noise.
Humans are notorious for filling every minute with some kind of sound around them. What are some ways we fill our ears and heads with constant sounds? Why do you think people tend to avoid complete silence?
Times of silence are vital to the Christian and our walk with God. After having received a powerful answer from the Lord, Habakkuk solemnly responded, “The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (2:20 NIV). Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV).
Isaiah described himself as a student when he wrote, “The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed” (Isaiah 50:4 NIV). In order to learn from our teachers we must be quiet and listen. In order to hear God’s still, small voice, we must be quiet and listen as well.
During this month-long experiment of creating space to listen, be sure to be silent often. Go for quiet walks. Drive with the radio off. Intentionally listen more than you talk.
Try this simple exercise. Go outside and stand still. If possible find a quiet spot away from the noise of cars and other loud sounds. Now, close your eyes and listen. Describe every sound you hear. Listen for a full 2-3 minutes. Listen intently for noises in the background as well as in the foreground. What do you hear? What do you eventually begin to notice far in the distance? What sounds are very faint? Which ones stand out to you? Can you identify them?
Do this listening exercise several times during our 31-day experiment. It can help teach you how to concentrate and become a better listener. You may find that what you think of as silence isn’t so silent after all.
What would happen if I created more space?
What could happen if you determined for one full month to create more space in your life and schedule? How might you change and grow if you made more room for listening each day? What might you see and discover about God, yourself and others? What if you focused more on being than doing? Take the challenge and find out for yourself!
Dwayne Moore: Founder and CEO of Next Level Worhsip International
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